Guest List: Remember Jones Shares His 5 Favorite Kanye West Songs

Post Author: Mike Mehalick

Powerhouse soul-pop singer and bandleader Remember Jones has made a name for himself on the live circuit with his wild energy and throwback style. This summer, Jones will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Kanye West’s seminal album ‘808s & Heartbreak’ performing it in full with a 25 piece orchestra. Ahead of stops at the House of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ on May 27th (tix) and the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY on May 24th (tix) we had Jones share a Guest List of five Kanye songs that have impacted him. Check it all out in his own words below.
In one of the most interesting times to be celebrating the music of Kanye West, and particularly the 10th Anniversary of 808s & Heartbreak, I wanted to shout out of a few songs that made me feel and think. Songs that moved me. 808s as an album does this for me… but many songs before and after have made me appreciate Kanye beyond whatever media madness there is.

“Heard ‘Em Say” – Late Registration
Maybe I was still high on Songs About Jane when this came out, but the piano sample and Adam Levine’s voice — with Jon Brion’s production — was what grabbed me first. However, in a “thoughts and prayers” world with not nearly as much action, this song politely questions American societal issues in a quick, effective, and clear way. Probably a way I wish we’d hear Kanye speak more often, and a track I often play twice in a row.

“Otis” – Watch The Throne
I’m being nostalgic for the Jay/Ye years but this one just slams for me. I love “Tenderness” and do the song a lot, so there’s that, but these guys trading verses and giving me “College Dropout” feels is the stuff 2011 is made of.

“All Falls Down” – The College Dropout
Everyone asking for the “old Kanye” would probably use this song as a strong representation. Beyond the Lauryn Hill hook covered by Syleena Johnson, when I heard the words for the first time, I knew I needed to know them. A solid commentary on materialism and how, in reality, it’s all just “things”, I’d like to think we all heard “we all self-conscious / I’m just the first to admit it” and felt a real connection.

“Paranoid” – 808s & Heartbreak
Jeff Bhasker (an “Uptown Funk” contributor) co-production, a catchy Mr. Hudson hook, and probably the best jam on the entire album. Not to mention this is one of the only “raps” on 808s. I wanted to say I liked “RoboCop” more than this but that’s not true; it’s the ending of that song that makes me love 808s more, yet it’s all of Paranoid that really solidifies it.

“Runaway” – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
This is a blurb I had to edit a few times because I can really go on a head trip with this song. It’s so beautifully complex lyrically and musically and, as with many other Kanye tunes, quite humorous. And as part of its full 9 minutes, the tough-to-decipher, string vs. vocoder outro is so effective it’s almost therapeutic or purifying. There’s apology, there’s proclamation, there’s Pusha T., and there’s warning for destructive behavior… runaway as fast as you can, hey, don’t say he didn’t warn you!
Honorable Mention:

“The New Workout Plan” – The College Dropout